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Out of Our Minds
Monday, October 24, 2005 11:03 PM
Death of a Hero
Kevin Salwen on Making a Difference

Rosa Parks died this evening at the age of 92. Her bold decision in 1955 to refuse to give up her bus seat to a white man, as was the law at the time, triggered the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. After she was jailed, a little known minister named Martin Luther King Jr. announced a boycott of the mass transit system in Montgomery, Ala. The year-long boycott helped lead to critical Supreme Court decisions overturning the so-called Jim Crow laws requiring segregation.

But enough history lesson. What I love about Rosa Parks was that she always appeared to me to be more interested in doing what she thought was right, not to trigger world change. ''At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this,'' Mrs. Parks said in 1985. ''It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.''

Just that masses of people joined in. Humble woman. But it makes me wonder: What are we doing with our days that masses might want to join?

1 comment

Thomas P. Walker - 10/25/2005 12:41:24 AM
I agree, humble yet pivotal. It's unfortunate the world needs such people but we were lucky to have her in this case.

As for now and masses, how about health care, starting with HMOs? Maybe a little petty or mundane, but it truly affects so many people at two basic levels: money (think uncessesary bankruptcy) and well-being (think uncessesary pain and death).


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